Leinster vs Toulouse: Champions Cup final TV details, kick-off time and team news

All you need to know ahead of Saturday’s European decider at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London

Who, what, where and when?

A rare final showdown between the two most successful teams in European rugby. Toulouse, with their five Champions Cup titles, take on Leinster, who sit one behind them on four.

The game is in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Spurs’ reasonably new 63,000-capacity arena. Kick-off this Saturday is at 2.45pm.

Can I watch?

Given the Irish interest, RTÉ will be showing the game alongside usual broadcaster TNT Sports. RTÉ radio is also on duty. If you can’t watch/listen, The Irish Times’ liveblog will have updates starting two hours before kick-off.

Team news

Hugo Keenan will start the Champions Cup final after returning from injury against Ulster last week, as Garry Ringrose failed his fitness test to make the showdown against Toulouse in north London.

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James Ryan is also in the squad among the replacements after a timely return in the URC. Jimmy O’Brien misses out from the replacements despite returning to the fold in recent weeks, with Ciarán Frawley preferred.

Zebo retires, Keenan to the Olympics and Leinster's Champions Cup showdown

Listen | 24:46

Leinster have restored Jason Jenkins to the secondrow, who started the quarter-final win over La Rochelle before being a replacement against Northampton after going on Leinster’s South African trip, with Ross Molony missing out. Will Connors starts in the backrow alongside regular starters Ryan Baird and Caelan Doris.

Leo Cullen and Jacques Nienaber have gambled on the 6-2 configuration employed in the quarter-final win over La Rochelle, with just scrumhalf Luke McGrath and utility back Frawley on the bench.

For Toulouse, Blair Kinghorn starts at fullback over Thomas Ramos in the main selection dilemma for Ugo Mola. The starting side otherwise is as expected and features the talismanic Antoine Dupont as captain at outhalf. Joshua Brennan is included in the replacements.

Leinster: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Robbie Henshaw, Jamie Osborne, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Joe McCarthy, Jason Jenkins, Ryan Baird, Will Connors, Caelan Doris (capt).

Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Michael Ala’alatoa, James Ryan, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Ciaran Frawley, Josh van der Flier.

Stade Toulousain: Blair Kinghorn; Juan Cruz Mallia, Paul Costes, Pita Ahki, Matthis Lebel; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont (capt); Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Dorian Aldegheri, Thibaud Flament, Emmanuel Meafou, Jack Willis, François Cros, Alexandre Roumat.

Replacements: Julien Marchand, Rodrigue Neti, Joel Merkler, Richie Arnold, Joshua Brennan, Paul Graou, Santiago Chocobares, Thomas Ramos.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England).

Path to the final

Leinster won all four of their pool games – most notably away to La Rochelle – to set up a home run through the knock-out stages. They beat Leicester at the Aviva Stadium in a relatively comfortable last-16 clash, before putting in arguably their best display of the season to finally beat La Rochelle in a knock-out game at the quarter-final stage. Their Croke Park semi-final against Northampton was a bit nervy after a late fightback from the English side, but Leinster held on to reach a third consecutive European final.

Toulouse were dominant themselves in the pool stages, beating Cardiff, Harlequins, Bath and Ulster to set up a home knock-out run of their own. They eased past Racing 92 and Exeter – scoring 95 points across the two games – before seeing off ‘Quins in the semi-final.

Toulouse last won this competition in 2021 in another London final, beating La Rochelle in Twickenham. Leinster last won the trophy in 2018 when they overcame Racing in Bilbao. The Irish province has been to the decider more recently, playing in Marseille in 2022 and Dublin last year, only to lose to La Rochelle on both occasions.

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